and they say romance is dead
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The taxi cab pulled up to the harbor.
I stepped outside and stared at the glory of the Wiler cruise ship.
It was beautiful.
I had wanted to be on this ship since I was a child.
My dad went on it when he was young, and the countless stories that he told me about it filled my head up to this point.
He told me about his week long cruise, and how perfect it was.
How many friends he made.
The amazing feeling of the boat swaying in the open water.
I was finally going to experience it for myself.
We began boarding, and I was looking at the side of the boat.
Up close the paint wasn’t quite as flawless as I had imagined.
The floor beneath my feet felt strange, and it sometimes creaked.
The longer I stayed the longer I prayed that it would end.
The nightly activities were dull.
The food was good, but nothing special.
Nothing seemed to excite me on this boat.
I was wandering the deck when I spotted my father alone staring out at the night sky.
I walked up to him and asked, “dad. Why do you love this so much? I have looked forward to this for a very long time, and I am not finding myself amused.”
He looked calm and content as he responded.
"Look at the stars. Feel how the boat glides over the water.
You are alone out here. Miles away from any of the troubles that the mainland provides in abundance. Isn’t it grand? This feeling of carelessness and happiness?”
I stood silent for a moment.
"As much as it pains me to say, I do not feel happy. I am not careless. The boat sometimes makes me sick. The bathrooms are small and uncomfortable. I miss my friends back home. Nothing here speaks to me. I just feel so alone, and I am not comfortable with the company of myself. I know you are here too, but we’ve both been doing our own thing. I would rather be at home with you and mom while we ate dinner and watched tv on the couch."
As I spoke there were visible signs of pain on his face, and I understood. When I finished speaking he stared at me while trying to figure out how to respond. He put his arm around my shoulder held me softly against him.
"I love you," he said, "and you don’t have to worry about being here much longer. There are just a few more days."
Suddenly the uneasiness I felt since we boarded the cruiseship was washed away, and I stood in his embrace for a long time staring up at the stars.
The Gif Connoisseur #353